I get furious every time I read something like this. Yes, I get that some young people are totally irresponsible with their first credit card…I was. However, for those that don’t have wealthy parents or full ride scholarships, (like someone who carries a “D” average in High School but can dunk a basketball, for instance) credit cards provide a bridge between the time a student is in school, until the time they can begin earning.
Part of me would be more sympathetic to the banks that issue the cards if they weren’t so damn deceptive in their business practices. It has always irritated me that credit card issuers are able to arbitrarily “adjust” the interest rate on your card. Again, if interests rates soar, I can see the need for banks to raise rates…but that is seldom the case. If you are late with them, or, late with another card you hold, or, in dispute with a vendor or retailer, or, EVEN IF THEY DON’T LIKE WHERE YOU USE YOUR CARD, they can and will raise your interest rate. The rate hike is almost never proportional, that is, it is frequently doubled, or even tripled!
Many grown-ups have trouble managing debt. Expecting a college freshman, straight out of high school, to be able to manage theirs is ridiculous. I think that is the point, maybe. Do banks intend to saddle young people with crushing debt that could take a lifetime to repay? I’m beginning to think so. If not, why aren’t they more selective? Or, why not lower card limits? A $2500.00 credit limit can do a great many things….pay for a car repair, books, etc. Easy, nearly limitless credit drives up prices for everyone, and allows colleges to charge nearly anything.
I wish credit card companies were banned from campuses. If you can ban alcohol, you can ban credit card companies.
For years, we have told our young people to seek degrees in law or business and the easy life would follow. I’m wondering about those kids and their parents that mortgaged houses and sacrificed for years to send a kid to school, who is about to graduate this June with a degree in business. It will interesting to see how many years working at Circuit City it will take to justify that pricey diploma. Oh, wait.
I know that credit cards and college costs are only connected by the barest of threads, but both seem more than a little predatory on our young, emerging workforce.